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Reading Roundup: This Week's Top Literary Events

Each week, we offer a roundup of the best literary events in the city. All events are free and open to the public, unless otherwise noted. Want to submit an upcoming event for consideration? Go here.

Leigh Stein (The Fallback Plan)

Tuesday, January 17, 7 pm, at The Booksmith (1644 Haight St.)

With most of America's college graduates headed back to the homes from whence they sprung, Stein's humorous debut novel, which focuses on a recent grad forced to move home, couldn't be more timely. When quirky heroine Esther's parents begin charging her rent to live in her childhood bedroom, she gets a job babysitting for a young couple who have recently lost one of their children, and ends up becoming embroiled in their troubles.

Ellis Avery (The Last Nude)

Thursday, January 12, 7 pm, at Book Passage Corte Madera (51 Tamal Vista Blvd.)

Friday, January 13, 7:30 pm, at Books Inc. Castro (2275 Market St.)

Avery's acclaimed second novel is a fictional look into the life of Art Deco painter Tamara de Lempicka and one of her models, a young American woman named Rafaela Fano. After posing for de Lempicka in order to avoid a downward slide into prostitution, Fano becomes both her lover and her muse, but de Lempicka's secrecy and the gathering storm of World War II begin to drive the pair apart.

LitUp Writers: Will It Hurt? Tales of the First Time

Tuesday, January 17, 7:30 pm, at Intersection for the Arts (925 Mission St.)

This comedic reading series returns with stories of first times: not just the loss of virginity implied in the title, but first apartments, first kisses, first marriages, and first divorces. The six writers featured come from all walks of life, but their stories are uniformly humorous. Tickets are $5 at the door.

Tea Obreht (The Tiger's Wife)

Tuesday, January 17, 7 pm, at Books Inc. Palo Alto (74 Town & Country Village)

You'll have to make the trek down to Palo Alto to see lauded first novelist Obreht (above), whose book made the New York Times' top five novels of 2011 and garnered the Orange Prize and a National Book Award nomination. The Tiger's Wife tells the story of Natalia, a young doctor in a Balkan country recovering from years of war, and her relationship with her recently deceased grandfather. Interweaving the chaotic present with the mythic past, it's a remarkable achievement from Obreht, who's only 26.